AUSTIN, Texas - Immigration rights activists are calling on Congress to close the T. Don Hutto Detention Center.
The facility holds hundreds of non-citizens awaiting a decision on their immigration status. Saturday advocates rallied in Taylor outside the detention center’s fence.
Signs and instruments in hand the crowd of advocates, students, and non-profits chanted, “Comunidades no jualas” or "communities, not cages."
Women who were recently released from the facility returned to be a voice for the women inside.
Brendy Galdomez told the crowd she was imprisoned for five months. She talked about the physical and emotional trauma she faced, “They women in there don’t care about food or a good bed they just want to be free,” Galdomez said. “Continue to support each other because everyone needs it, we are all human.”
Last year, the community celebrated the Williamson County Commissioners' decision to cut ties with ICE in sharing the facility. However, Bethany Carson with Grassroots Leadership said the battle to shut down the facility is far from over the federal agency is now working with a private prison company.
"We really don't know why this place continues to be open ICE claims to have a temporary direct contract with CoreCivic but they refuse to release the documentation," Carson said. "Contracts mean ten more years of abuse, ten more years of separating people from their families and their communities."
Grassroots leadership is currently suing ICE for access to their contract with CoreCivic.